John Reuben is a self-taught Cree Native artist who was born in 1959. He attended Moosonee Public School and residential school in Moose Factory. After attending high school in North Bay, Ontario, John returned to the James Bay Lowlands.
In early 1979, he began working at James Bay Education Centre as snowshoe maker and this provided him with the opportunity to join Weneebaykook Limited, a group of seven Cree artists who produced limited edition silk-screen prints, T-shirts, and hastinotes.
While in Weneebaykook, John became proficient in silk-screening techniques and discovered a flair for wildlife and acrylic painting. Weneebaykook provided John with wide exposure through many exhibitions throughout Canada, the US and Europe. Unfortunately, in 1985, the group disbanded and the gallery closed.
In 1985, John received the International
Youth Year Award for his work as a volunteer artist in local schools.
His artwork was selected by the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education
for book covers of a reading program for Native children in Ontario.
In 1987, John had the opportunity to donate an original painting to the local Ducks Unlimited fundraising dinner and auction. The success of this venture and the encouragement of DU representatives led to the submission of the original "Close Call-Loon" to the Northeastern Regional Duck Unlimited competition. This painting won first prize and fueled John's desire to establish himself as an artist of recognition.
With an interest in the preservation of wildlife wetlands in North America, John has contributed thousands of dollars of artworks for auction and sale. Recently, he was commissioned by Ducks Unlimited to complete an original painting to be reproduced as a a limited edition print for fund raising events.
John has continued to refine his techniques and experiment with different art media. He has narrowed his scope of topics and now concentrates on wildlife of James Bay Lowlands, where ideas and inspirations are limitless.
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